12,000 women develop VVF every year in Nigeria
By Suzan edeh, Buchi
No fewer than 12,000 women develop Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) every year in Nigeria, the National Demographic Health Survey has discovered. A VVF Surgeon, Dr. Ahmed Yola disclosed this this weekend in Bauchi while presenting a paper at a stakeholders meeting to review and develop Fistula jingles for Bauchi, Kano and Kastina states.
According to Dr. Yola, VVF is an occurrence of abnormal hole between the bladder or Rectum and the Vagina, characterized by continuous and uncontrollable leakage of urine.
He said that most of the women affected by the condition comes from the remote villages which lack motorable roads, healthcare facilities and numerous barriers to seeking healthcare.
According to the VVF Surgeon, it is common where ignorance and poverty are prevalent and affects young, short teenage girls of poor social economic background and women who are delivering babies for the first time.
He said the condition is also common among older and even elderly women as well as uneducated women living in the villages with the latter mostly affected.
Dr. Yola disclosed that 90% of VVF is caused by prolonged unattended obstructed labour while other causes include harmful traditional practices such as Female Genital Mutilation among others.
He said that VVF is prevalent both in the northern and southern parts of Nigeria, but is more conspicuous in the north, adding that VVF occurs wherever maternal mortality rates are high.
Sadly, he said, VVF accounts for 75% of loss of baby and is responsible for 55 – 60% of divorce rates in the country.